NBC's drama 'Rise' gives rise to high school theater grants

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(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Executive Producer Jason Katims, from left, members of the cast Damon J. Gillespie, Auli'i Cravalho, Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez and Executive Producer Jeffrey Seller participate in the "Rise" panel during the NBCUniv... (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Executive Producer Jason Katims, from left, members of the cast Damon J. Gillespie, Auli'i Cravalho, Josh Radnor, Rosie Perez and Executive Producer Jeffrey Seller participate in the "Rise" panel during the NBCUniv...
(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Josh Radnor participate in the "Rise" panel during the NBCUniversal Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in PAsadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Josh Radnor participate in the "Rise" panel during the NBCUniversal Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in PAsadena, Calif.
(Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Auli'i Cravalho participate in the "Rise" panel during the NBCUniversal Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in PAsadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP). Auli'i Cravalho participate in the "Rise" panel during the NBCUniversal Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in PAsadena, Calif.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - An upcoming NBC drama about a high school theater program will be a boon to 50 real schools.

The network said Tuesday it's donating $500,000 in grants to high school theater departments nationwide.

Jason Katims, executive producer of the new series "Rise," says in a statement the grants will help supports the kind of schools and students whose stories are told in the series.

"Rise," inspired by a true story, stars Josh Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother") as a teacher who energizes his school's theater department and its working-class town. The cast includes Rosie Perez, Auli'i Cravalho ("Moana") and Damon J. Gillespie.

High schools can submit applications at NBC.com/Rise through Feb. 6, with the winners to be announced in March.

"Rise" debuts March 20 after a March 13 preview.

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